Explore Tenerife

As author of the bestselling More Ketchup Than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman and Tenerife travel guide My Destination Tenerife, Bolton-born Joe Cawley is more than qualified to share advice on how to make the most of a visit to Tenerife.  In 1991, he swapped a career on a fish market in the north of England for life as a Tenerife bar owner. Armed with zero business/catering experience and an over-riding sense of ‘what could go wrong?’, he plunged feet-first into buying the Smugglers Tavern in La Caleta. Since moving lock, stock and barrel to Tenerife he’s become quite the expert on island life. We recently caught up with Joe to find out his top travel tips for exploring Tenerife...

Explore Tenerife Joe Cawley
Joe Cawley first made the move to Tenerife in 1991

Explore Tenerife with Joe Cawley

When a friend comes to explore Tenerife, the first place I take them is to a quayside restaurant in Los Abrigos because a slow seafood lunch facing a watery horizon sets the pace and theme for the rest of their stay. The two best things about Tenerife are the weather (naturally) and the relatively slow pace of life. I’m currently in recovery mode after a short trip to London which always leaves me with cerebral whiplash from the full-throttle pace. You can’t beat a winter trip exploring Tenerife for maximum, warm weather gloating opportunities while northern Europe turns blue.

Where to Eat in Tenerife

Exploring Tenerife steak with mojo sauce
Steak with a side of traditional mojo sauce

Head to The Golden Mile in Playa de Las Americas for restaurants and bars. I’d recommend the Monkey Bar & Grill for lunch, Bianco for dinner and Magic for drinks.  If you only try one local dish, sample the homemade mojo, it’s a ubiquitous dip served with anything from bread to fish and ranges from the mildest of greens to the fieriest of reds. Flash Point in El Medano is a great spot to stop for coffee while you watch the windsurfers.

Before You Visit Tenerife

Explore Tenerife landscape
Tenerife’s unusual, otherworldly landscapes

Before exploring Tenerife, read something about the terrain and the unusual landcapes on the island. People think Tenerife is a one-dimensional beach resort but it’s actually one of the most diverse islands on the planet with jungle-like forests, dizzying canyons and a surreal high-mountain moonscape.

Tenerife for Families

Exploring Tenerife Siam Park
Siam Park, Tenerife

I’d recommend taking the family to Siam Park because your kids would never forgive you if you didn’t… and we all know that you use them as an excuse to satisfy your ‘inner child’ on some of the best water rides in the world.

Tenerife for Free

Explore Tenerife Mount Teide
Mount Teide

Driving up to Mount Teide is the best thing to do while exploring Tenerife for free. Not many tourists know about Alcala but you should go there because you can snorkel with turtles. If you want to get away from the busier resorts, I’d recommend a trip to El Medano or Alcala.

Tenerife Beaches

Exploring Playa de las Teresitas
Playa de las Teresitas

The south has the best beaches on the island. You get the most beautiful sunsets in Playa San Juan when the sun slips behind the island of La Gomera and the harbour reflects the changing tones as the sky turns from blazing amber to a glory of red.


Flights to Tenerife


- Fiona Hilliard